BCPS School Profile



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Southwest Academy Principal Karen Barnes selected among nation’s best principals

WOODLAWN, MD. – Karen Barnes, principal of Southwest Academy Magnet School for Science and Engineering in Woodlawn, has been selected among 61 elementary and middle school principals from across the nation and abroad to be named 2013 National Distinguished Principals by the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

Barnes, who has led Southwest as its principal since 2008, will be honored with other recipients at an Oct. 25 awards banquet at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. She is the only Maryland recipient of the National Distinguished Principal honor this year.

“Great leaders develop great schools, and we have a great leader in Karen Barnes," said Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent S. Dallas Dance. “She is a natural educator, one who puts her heart, soul, and wisdom into her work, and she is well deserving of this honor. We are fortunate to have Karen Barnes both at Southwest Academy and as an influential member of Team BCPS."

Established in 1984, the Distinguished Principals program recognizes public and private school principals who make superior contributions to their schools and communities. The principals are selected by NAESP state affiliates and by committees representing private and overseas schools.

“Only a principal can move a school from good to great, simultaneously championing children and uplifting the communities they serve," said NAESP Executive Director Gail Connelly. “We congratulate this class of (principals) for their steadfast dedication to educating our nation’s children to their fullest potential."


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Vision Statement


At Southwest Academy Magnet School for Science and Engineering, students will develop the requisite knowledge and 21st century skills needed to succeed in college and careers, as they are actively engaged in a rigorous learning environment which promotes the belief that their potential is based on the opportunities provided to them and the efforts they are encouraged to exert in every classroom in our school.

Every Student....

     Every Day.....



Mission Statement

Through our parent, school, and community partnership, Southwest Academy’s mission is to provide a nurturing environment in which the commitment and collaboration of all stakeholders empowers all students to learn and achieve at high levels; thus producing lifelong learners and productive citizens in a global economy and multicultural society in the 21st Century.

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